Closing things out is a tale that seems a little out of place, as I don't instantly think Man-Bat when I think of classic Superman villains that deserve to be highlighted in an anniversary issue. Have no fear, however, as our investment in time and bandwidth is going to be rewarded as Mike Mignola handles the art for the last eight pages. If you're going to have a Man-Bat story, you could do a heckuva lot worse than have the master of mood, the Svengali of shadows, the general of gothic, handling the pencils.
Let's check it out.
The Dark Where Madness Lies
- Written by John Byrne
- Drawn by Mike Mignola
- Lettered by Bill Oakley
- Colored by Petra Scotese
He has come to the wilderness to seek solace amongst the shrill songs of his brethren. Down below, he finds the perfect cave and soars in only to be confused by the absence of bats that would normally make the cave a bustling community. It doesn't take him long to find out exactly what has spooked his bat brothers.
Yes...it's the same cave that Superman has decided to ride out his bout of kryponite poisoning in, and unfortunately he's in no mood to make new friends. In fact, the more he tries to soothe the crazed Kryptonian, the worse it gets and the worse his delusions become.
In his rage, Superman knocks Man-Bat around the cave like a pinata. Whatever he does to try to calm Superman, it only works to make him more enraged. It's only when Superman has Man-Bat facing the sharp end of a stalactite that he realizes he's been out of control. Even enraged, Superman will not kill.
In control of his faculties once more, Superman explains that its the kryptonite rays from his exploded planet that is doing this to him. The rays were too strong for the lead that was in the caves to block out. Another shock wave could kill him. Luckily for him, he has an idea of someone who could help. Unfortunately, he's still too weak to seek him out. Man-Bat takes it upon himself to find the one person who can help the Man of Steel.
So who is it?
He only shows up in shadows here, but those wings are a dead giveaway.
SO, WHAT DID WE LEARN...
Anniversary jam issues are usually a mixed bag. Chances are, there's something in there that's good, and hopefully you end with more winners than losers to make the extra price involved worth it.
This time around, we go three winners and two meh's. I think I'll call that a win and slide this book back in it's bag and backer, and head back to the longboxes for another pick.
All characters and artwork reproduced are (c) DC Comics